Pilbara Minerals (ASX: PLS) is the preferred lithium pick for analysts at Macquarie.
“Pilbara Minerals retains the greatest exposure to the further price rises we expect to see in spodumene over the next few months, with our price peak now set at US$4,000 a tonne” said a note from Macquarie Research earlier this month.
Macquarie expects Pilbara Minerals to "start seeing material growth in production volumes from FY23.”
This follows a third consecutive downgrade to the company's FY22 production guidance during February reporting season.
Pilbara Minerals expects to produce 340,000 to 380,000 dry metric tonnes (dmt) of spodumene for FY22, down from the 460-510,000 dmt guidance last August and 400-450,000 dmt guidance last December.
Lower spodumene production rates due to plant down-time events and industry-wide labour shortages has weighed.
Pilbara Minerals' half-year FY22 results observed that lithium chemicals price momentum was "still very strong, implying materially higher pricing in the second half."
Pilbara Minerals expects March quarter spodumene prices to sit somewhere around the US$2,500 to US$3,000 a tonne level, more than double what was realised in the first-half of FY22.
Macquarie’s medium and long-term upgrades for spodumene price forecasts drove a 14% upgrade to its Pilbara Minerals price target from $3.50 to $4.00.
This represents a 52% upside compared to Wednesday's open of $2.63.
Finance Writer & Social Media
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